Unlikely pro quietly on the verge of matching a PGA Tour record
Denny McCarthy’s 2019-20 PGA Tour performance didn’t turn many heads. He finished 73rd in the FedEx Cup standings, had four top 10s and registered a season-best finish of T8. The $1,178,557 he made on the course was solid, but a far cry from the more than $20 million earned by Dustin Johnson during the same season.
But beyond McCarthy’s baseline statistics, advanced analytics show he had a historic season. He led the Tour in SG: Putting metric, gaining an average of .988 strokes per round on the greens. This performance on the greens ranks as the second-best putting season of the ShotLink era (since 2004), ranking only behind Jason Day’s ridiculous 1.13 strokes gained per round in 2016.
McCarthy led the Tour in SG: Putting last season, too, gaining .926 strokes per round. Being the leader in SG: Putting in back-to-back years is a rare feat, and one that puts him in elite company.
Luke Donald is the only other pro to lead the Tour in SG: Putting in back-to-back seasons as he took the title as the Tour’s top putter in three straight years from 2009 to 2011. Donald nearly made it four in a row at the top of the Tour in putting, but he was narrowly edged out by Brandt Snedeker in 2012.
McCarthy is off to a bit of a slow start this season in his quest to match Donald, ranking 86th in SG: Putting through two events. But considering the 27-year-old has never finished outside the top 20 during his first three seasons on Tour, it’s safe to assume he will find his groove on the greens as the season progresses.
If he putts like he has the last two seasons, he could soon write his name in the record books.